Self-Regulation Is The Best Answer
April 11, 2010 5 Comments
The most obvious reason to self-regulation would be to avoid governmental intervention to enforce rules and regulations for the industry. The industry knows its business better that the government. The industry knows what is possible and what is difficult and costly to regulate. Another reason for the self-regulation would be the public image, because the public would respect and appreciate the industry’s effort when it is self set and enforced rather than seeing the effort as an obligation. Catastrophic event, like the Bhopal toxic chemical release that lead to 3800 fatalities, initiated a self-regulating effort that established the Responsible Care program which regulate the chemical industry. The Three Mile Island incident in 1979 created the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations to self-regulate the safety in nuclear power plants (Sharma, Teret, & Brownell, 2010). Most of the natural resources are scarce. The industries that depend on natural resources should regulate itself to avoid over using the scarce resource. Fishery and forestry are self-regulating themselves to avoid over fishing or deforestation (Sharma, et al., 2010).
Research indicated children and adolescents as major contributors to the obesity problem (Goren, Harris, Schwartz, & Brownell, 2010). The food industry is moving toward self-regulations to control the unhealthy food marketing and selling. The self-regulation is one step before the forced regulation by the government. The food industry is issuing statements of concern and announce that self-regulations would solve the unhealthy food consumption by children (Sharma, et al., 2010).
The self-regulations is mostly originated by the industry but The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is ensuring the industries’ compliance. In the United States of America,The FTC feels that Alcohol industries’ self-regulation standards are too lean. The FTC advice the Distilled Spirits Council, the Wine Institute, and the Beer Institute-pledged to revise their self-regulation codes (Sharma, et al., 2010). One of the important codes which were revised is the percentage of legal drinking age viewers for a magazine. The new percentage was change from 50% to 70%, so the alcohol industry would not be able to advertise its products in a magazine with more than 30% of its readers are under the legal age for drinking. The codes are revised by the alcohol industry and supervised by the FTC but there is a growing concern over enforcing these codes. The public and the communities have difficulties in trusting the industry’s honest effort.
Goren, A., Harris, J. L., Schwartz, M. B., & Brownell, K. D. (2010). Predicting support for restricting food marketing to youth. Health Affairs, 29(3), 419-424.
Sharma, L. L., Teret, S. P., & Brownell, K. D. (2010). The food industry and self-regulation: Standards to promote success and to avoid public health failures. [Article]. American Journal of Public Health, 100(2), 240-246.